Disclosure: We received a Serena Shade to facilitate our post. All opinions are our own.
My husband and I have been longtime fans of Lutron Caseta Wireless products. We love the ability to control our lighting remotely, and how simple it is to dim or brighten our lights at the touch of a button.
Recently, we took advantage of Lutron’s easy connection ability with Amazon Alexa. We love that we can categorize the rooms in our house, design and utilize scenes, and best safeguard our home while we are away. Integrating Alexa’s voice control functionality, it is so easy to tell Alexa to “turn on living room table lamp” if I need some extra lighting as I come down the stairs to get a glass of water after bedtime and the house is dark, or turn off the lights downstairs earlier than anticipated should I call it an early evening without having to visit all the switches.
We decided to integrate one of Lutron’s non-lighting products into our home, and couldn’t be happier with our decision to install a Serena Motorized Shade. I will cut to the chase – WE LOVE IT!
Prior to installing the shade, we had vertical slat blinds on our 95” picture window. To control the slats, you would push them to the left with a rod when you wanted them “open.” Because of the number of slats needed to “close” a window of this size, we never had more than two-thirds of a full view as the slides would collect together at the left, limiting the amount of natural sunlight we were able to let in to our living room. They were also quite finicky – sometimes a slat would break off, and have to be reattached.
While investigating replacement options for a solution that was easier to control and gave us access to more natural light, we were delighted to learn that Serena Shades are available for windows up to 96” wide. Our window’s size just made the cut!
It was an easy and fun process to design the perfect Serena Shade for our home. Serena Shades make it easy for you to choose the perfect shade for your household.
A great place to get started is the Idea Gallery on the website, where you can peruse a variety of different shade types and colors in various room settings.
Once you have come to a design conclusion, you can visit the Design a Shade page, where you start by picking your style (roller or honeycomb) and then can go on to customize based on size, color, transparency and more. You also can decide if you want a battery-powered or wired shade. Another great perk that Serena Shades offers is a manual shade to add to your collection. This would be great for a room where there is a shade you don’t anticipate needing to move up or down often, and want to match your motorized shades without the additional expense.
After reviewing our options, we settled on the roller shade. We opted for battery-powered since batteries should last for about three years, and it would have required some internal wiring to get an outlet nearby our window. You then select your mount (inside, outside, or outside above the window) and fabric style. Choose from sheer, translucent, or blackout. We opted for translucent since we wanted some sunlight in the home when shades were down, while keeping our privacy as it the window in question is streetfacing. I was honestly blown away by the color choices available, but we ended up selecting white to best match our décor. There are really helpful instructions on the site to ensure that you are properly measuring.
While we typically use Alexa to control our devices, we do love the easy to use Pico remotes for quick control, especially if someone in the room is napping and we don’t want to disturb them with the voice controls. I opted for a mounted remote that could house both my Caseta Wireless table lamp remote as well as my Serena Shades controller.
After finalizing our design and customization choices, we contacted the customer care team to answer a few of our questions and finalize our order. Because each shade is custom-designed, we were given a window in which our shade would be shipped.
Much to our enthusiasm, we received our shade a bit earlier than anticipated, and were excited to take down those vertical slat blinds and install our new Serena Shade!
The mounting instructions were quite simple. Because our shade was almost 8 feet long, I was glad to have my husband helping with the project, as a second set of hands to hold it upright while we drilled the vertical holes proved helpful for this larger shade. When drilling vertically, we found it easiest to install using drill extension bits with our specific angle.
We have multiple ways to control the shade, using either the Pico remote, Lutron or Alexa mobile app, or Alexa Voice Control.
We first added the shade to the Lutron app on my phone. In the Amazon Alexa app, we had previously authorized the application to connect with our Lutron account to work with our Caseta Wireless (if you have previously given access to Alexa to access your lamps and dimmers, you can see your integrations in the settings of the Lutron app!). Recently the Alexa app was upgraded, and it’s easy to find the smarthome devices list in the lower righthand corner. Once you are in the Alexa app, you can connect your shade by “discovering” new devices that are connected to our Lutron account.
Now are able to open the shade by saying “Alexa, Turn On Shade in Living Room.”
We made a scene in the Lutron app called “TV Time” which lowers the shade and turns the lamps on. In the Alexa app, we can see our Smart Home section, and on the devices list we choose scenes and press the discover scenes button. “Alexa, turn on TV time” gets us the desired result!
In the Alexa App, the Serena Shade now works perfectly in our dedicated “Scenes” (which we currently have titled “Good Morning!” and “Good Night!”).
Our “Bedtime” house routine turns everything off, which includes all the Caseta Wireless lights and lowers the shade to a fully closed position.
Not only do these products from Lutron give us so much convenience, but they also give us a sense of security when we are away from our home. It’s a comfort to know we don’t have to worry if our house looks abandoned and prone to break-ins or damage. It has also come in handy in instances when we left the house for longer than anticipated, and will be getting home after dark. We have been able to turn lights on for our dog, and control our shade if we find that we will be out for too long and want that added caution to “fortify” our house from afar!
We are having such a great experience with this shade that we soon hope to swap out some of our older blinds with other Serena Shades products. Not only would it be so much easier to coordinate bedroom blinds automatically, but aesthetically, being able to set them all to lower at the same height would save this perfectionist a lot of time getting them all to fall perfectly aligned!
To shop for Serena Shades and learn more about these amazing products, visit https://www.serenashades.com/.